Fashion journalists, while keen to keep you bang up to date as to where Alexa Chung stands on Breton stripes and Miranda Kerr's current thinking vis‑a‑vis Aviator shades, sometimes let substantial shifts in the nitty-gritty of Clothes People Wear go entirely unreported.
Often, I suspect, this is because there are no red carpet shots of Chung or absurdly glamorous LAX departure lounge snaps of Kerr with which to illustrate said nitty-gritty. Happily, we have no need of such eye candy here because, in the words of one of my foremuppets, Miss Piggy, this column is all about moi.
Now this is fortunate, because there has been a development in Clothes People Wear which has slipped under the glossy radar. Specifically, in the clothes women wear for exercise: the gym, Pilates, whatever. The default outfit for this used to be the tracksuit. Tracksuit bottoms, sports bra/vest, then a loose top or hoody. Tight running trousers existed, but they marked you out as Serious About Fitness and/or Proud Of Thighs.
But this has changed. On the yoga mats, treadmills and running tracks of the nation, the Lycra-infused running trouser has taken over. Rather than the tight trouser marking you out as extra-serious, the tables have turned – wear tracksuit bottoms and you are labelled as the lazy cow using your gym membership for the third time this year.
But I'm not here to ridicule your outdated exercise gear or make you feel guilty for missing Zumba. My point is that the tracksuit has graduated from being sportswear into being retro sportswear – a quite different category, and one which fashion has always happily plundered for inspiration. (See: baseball jackets.) Now that it doesn't belong in your gym-gear drawer, it has been upgraded to your wardrobe. Which is why the smartest London and Paris boutiques have waiting lists for sweatshirts this season, and why smart tracksuit bottoms are proving themselves to be more than a one-season wonder. The sporty lettered graphic, the tracksuit bottom, the hi-top trainer: today, I am in head-to-toe retro sportswear. In other words, I'm in fashion.
• Jess wears blue 'H' cotton sweater, £240, houseofholland.co.uk. Track-style trousers, £39.99, Zara zara.com. Suede wedge sneakers, £149, by Ash, from my-wardrobe.com.Photograph: David Newby for the Guardian. Styling: Lucy Trott at Carol Hayes Management. Makeup: Dani Richardson using Sisley Cosmetics.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010